Harden Not My Heart
To the gentleman at daily Mass who repeatedly shoots disapproving glances our way, even when my children are behaving (almost) as piously as saints, please pray for me.
I want to be at the table of the Lord as much as you do, but it’s not always easy for me to be there. You may think my toddler’s constant babbling only disrupts you, but even though they are happy sounds, they can grate on me as well, especially since I hear jabbering all day long, not just during Mass. Please pray that I don’t allow my kids or worries about what people think of my kids or the lady behind me who can’t stop coughing, or any other distraction keep me from fully receiving Christ.
I also ask for your prayers for my children. They are the future of the Church. How can I expect them to come to know and love Jesus and to appreciate the gift of Mass if I leave them at home just so I can have a more peaceful and uplifting experience?
I know you heard my toddler shouting, “Mommy! Mommy!” You looked back at us and shook your head. I’m sorry she’s so vocal. Sometimes I wish little ones came with a mute button, but then I wouldn’t have heard her when she pointed to the Crucifix and said, “Jesus!”
Above all, I ask for your prayers that I don’t harden my heart to attempting to go to weekly Mass on occasion. I worry too much about what you and others think. Even though our dear priest on this particular day personally thanked the noisy and joyful children (meaning my toddler) for being there to celebrate the Mass, I can’t get your critical looks out of my head. Please pray that I’ll let it go and just smile kindly in return.
And, please my dear brother in Christ, keep in mind the words of a wise priest who told his congregation that construction can be noisy and that children are Christians under construction. I’m laying the foundation for what I hope is a lifetime of love for the Church, and right now it can be a little noisy. I’m sorry for that and will do my best to keep the distractions my kids bring along with them to a minimum. But when they get fidgety or when my 20-month-old begins to “sing” (yes, that high-pitched squealing is her way of singing), will you help me in revealing Christ’s love?
Thank you for your prayers. I need them. I hope to see you at weekly Mass again.